The MU fully supports the recommendations outlined in today’s Misogyny in Music report from the Women and Equalities Committee.
The report found that many women in the music industry face gender discrimination, unequal pay and representation, sexual harassment and bullying.
As a result of the inquiry, recommendations include better protection for all freelancers, the prohibiting of non-disclosure agreements involving sexual abuse, harassment or misconduct, as well as ensuring reporting pathways are clearer.
We hope this will lead to a culture change in the industry that is long overdue
We are delighted that so many of the recommendations ask for the changes the MU has been calling on the government to make for many years. The MU are proud to have contributed to the report, both in a written submission and at the oral evidence session, to ensure that our women members are heard.
The report highlights the many issues our women members face carving out and sustaining careers as musicians, and the MU hopes that this will lead to a culture change in the industry that is long overdue. We look forward to working with the industry on implementing these vital recommendations.
Women's careers should not be limited by misogynistic assumptions
John Shortell, MU Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion said: “Women's careers should not be limited by misogynistic assumptions about how well they can perform and what instruments they can play. Women can and do work across the music industry in all roles, however this report lays bare how challenging it can be.
“We asked our women members to share their experiences with us to inform our response to the report. We heard examples of women not working in organisations and venues because of predatory men, about being passed over for jobs because they refused someones sexual advances and of being blacklisted because they raised concerns about reported sexual harassment. This can’t go on.
“Government must listen to the voices of women and implement the recommendations from the report. Perpetrators must change their behaviours and the industry needs to change how it responds when concerns are raised. I hope this report marks the start of that change.”
Read more about the government inquiry and the full list of recommendations outlined in the report.
We’re all too aware of the issues regarding misogyny in the music industry – it’s one of the reasons why the MU set up its Safe Space scheme a few years back. Safe Space provides an opportunity for musicians to share instances of sexism, sexual harassment and sexual abuse in the music industry.
Our report in 2019 revealed that 48% of musicians have been sexually harassed at work and 85% did not report it. 61% also believed freelancers are at higher risk of being sexually harassed while working.
We want to build up a picture of the problems that exist and seek long term solutions. We are campaigning for laws to protect musicians at work and are on a mission to create cultural change within the music industry.